Sir Ander\'s Doppleganger

This is Sir Ander’s first appearance. He’s the “younger knight”. More on his character a little later.

From Chapter Three: Blooming Day

Slowly, Cora stood, her skirts rustling as she did so, the petticoat snagging on her foot and letting out an alarmingly loud tearing noise. They were close enough to notice, and she heard both knights fall silent, and engage their weapons.

Her cover blown, Cora gripped the gun and twirled out into the hallway, leveling the weapon at the trespassers. Mustering all her courage, she said through numb lips: “Get out of my house.”

She must have sounded amusing to them, for both of the knights began to chuckle at her. Her chest tightened with mingled fear and fury—how could they laugh at her? And how could they take Brick? And Denna? Gods damn them.

There were two dark figures before her, illuminated from behind by the dim lanterns outside. One reached over and flicked on the gas lamp in the entryway, and his face came to life from darkness. He was perhaps twenty, and startlingly handsome. His round face was punctuated by a dimpled chin, and he had warm brown eyes that certainly weren’t as menacing as Cora had thought they would be. He smiled and held up his hands. Dressed in traditional knighting gear, he wore a long grey duster and a green vest beneath, a black kerchief tied around his neck. He carried silvered guns at his hips and, Cora knew, a host of other weaponry at the ready should he need them. His hat was wide-brimmed and set back on his head, letting loose a couple of free brown curls.

“Come now, lass,” he said. “Put the gun down. You don’t want to shoot your foot off; truly, we’re here on Queen’s business, so there’s no need resorting to violence.”

“People are screaming,” Cora said, the words spilling out of her mouth before she could stop them. Her arms ached as she held the gun out, straining under the pressure of fright. “If it’s Queen’s business then why in Hells is everyone screaming?”

“Resistance is a strange thing,” said the second knight, removing his hat. He was bald and missing an eye, but his ugliness would have been apparent even without the shortcomings. “Makes people resort to rather desperate options, I find. But that’s neither here nor there, lass. You best put the gun down and come with us. We’ve got a comfortable spot for you in the carriage.”

Cora flinched at the mention of the carriage. She squared her shoulders, concentrating on the green kerchief around the bald knight’s neck. Just like the green glass bottle on the fence post. “I am not going anywhere,” she said, willing her voice even.

The younger knight sighed, wiping his brow with the back of his hand. He moved a few steps closer to Cora, and she adjusted the gun from the bald one to him.

“You’re sadly outnumbered, dear,” he said, his tone dripping with condescension. As strange as it seemed, Cora was more frightened of the young knight than the old one. At first she had liked his eyes, but now they began to roam her body, to size her up. “You can shoot one of us, and if your aim is true, you still won’t have enough time to get the other down before you’re pinned down and forced to the carriage. Understand? The last thing we want you be is… damaged.”